Callum Wilkinson (coach: Mick Graham) becomes the first British race walker for half a century to hold a global race walking title when he became the IAAF World Junior Champion this morning in Bydgoszcz.
He finished the race in a world lead time of 40:41.62 having led from half-way. It was a close fight between the top three as they came off the bend but the Enfield and Haringey athlete, looking relaxed, accelerated on the home straight crossing the line clear of Jhonatan Amores of Ecuador in second place.
An elated Wilkinson said “As I crossed the line it was a massive feeling of relief but also disbelief. I can’t believe I am world champion! I am sure I’ll get called that at home and won’t even realise it’s me!
“I felt really comfortable going into the last 2k. I didn’t even look behind during the last 200m.
“I knew before the race I could do it but you still have to go and deliver. The pace was very slow and I hadn’t intended to lead from the front but I thought I have to increase this pace as it so slow. My season has gone well. I ran well in Rome so I was confident coming into the race and now having experienced that elation I hope I can go on to many more victories.”
In the same event, Cameron Corbishley finished 24th in 43:06.91.
George Evans (Colin McCulloch) progressed to tomorrow’s discus final finishing 11th with a best throw of 57.88m. The Inverness Harrier said “It was a long wait to see if I’d qualified. It was stressful but absolutely delighted to be through to the final. It wasn’t the distance I wanted although it is my second best ever so I should be happy with that. I came here to get into the final and I have done that and I am confident going into tomorrow.”
Unfortunately George Armstrong (Michael Swain) finished 28th with a throw of 54.39m so does not progress.
Follow the IAAF World Junior Championships via http://www.iaaf.org/competitions/iaaf-world-u20-championships/iaaf-world-u20-championships-bydgoszcz-2016-5680/live and Eurosport 2.